April 19 - 21 2017
Highworth Town 3 Brimscombe & Thrupp 2 (away view)
Brimscombe & Thrupp rounded off their season with a disappointing extra time loss to Highworth Town in the Bluefin Sport Challenge Cup semi final.
Edd Major found Ben Deakin at the back post who leapt up high to meet the ball and header it home 30 seconds in. Highworth then pounced on a back field mistake and slotted it away into the open goal. There were plenty of chances in the first 45minutes but no one could convert meaning the teams went in level at the break.
In the second half things got a little scrappy for both teams. Sam Blackie made a cameo as well as Tom Black. Alex Parrott’s superbly hit strike found it’s way in to the net 20 minutes from time. Highworth found themselves level again when the ball took a huge deflection off of Edd Major and away from Adam Thomas giving the fans another 30 minutes of football.
Both teams pushed to find themselves a winner but it came in the 107th minute when Nathan Gambling found the net.
Despite the disappointing cup loss the Lilywhites finished 7th in the League and came out as the highest Gloucestershire club.
Tuffley Rovers 1 Fairford Town 1
(Tuffley Rovers win 5-4 on penalties)
Player/Manager Mark Pritchett was Tuffley Rovers’ hero, scoring his side’s goal in normal time, before converting the winner in the penalty shoot-out, as his team secured a place in the Bluefin Sport Supplementary Cup Final.
Visitors Fairford Town, who were recently crowned Champions of Division One (West) and will play in the GFA Challenge Trophy Final next week, arrived at Glevum Park looking to continue their quest for a treble following an impressive season and they started the game well, with captain Jason Milhench having two efforts in the opening 6 minutes, the first going well over Dave Evans’ goal and the second, from a direct free-kick, drawing a save from the Rovers’ keeper. Shortly after that, Josh Morse volleyed narrowly over, from the edge of the box, as the visitors continued their bright start, although Rovers were looking threatening on the counter-attack, with Jamie Goodwin, Warren Mann and Harry Walker all prominent when they pushed forward.
On 18 minutes, Liam Wright was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, only marginally outside the box, and Pritchett hammered the resultant free-kick low into the left-hand corner of Ben Mitchell’s net to hand Rovers the lead. Mann was putting in an incredibly energetic performance in attack, chasing the ball across the Fairford defence, constantly harrowing them and winning possession, and he went close on 32 minutes, as he produced a low, skidding shot from the edge of the box, which Mitchell got down to save. Pritchett came incredibly close to grabbing his second of the game, only to be denied by a fantastic clearing header from Jonny Aitkinhead, as Mann’s beautifully judged cross almost found him at the back post.
Rovers continued to shade possession in the half, with Fairford limited to brief forays into the hosts’ territory, and it looked like Pritchett’s goal would separate the two sides at half-time, until the dying moments of the first period, when an over-zealous tackle from Shayne Anson left the referee with little option but to award the visiting team a penalty-kick. Although Evans got a hand to the resultant effort, by Milhench, he was unable to keep it out and Fairford Town drew level with virtually the last kick of the first-half.
The second half started at a much slower pace, with far less goalmouth action, although it remained a competitive affair, with both sides trading possession. With 62 minutes gone, Fairford Town thought they had taken the lead, only for Levi Cox’s header, from an excellent cross by Ben Saunders, to be ruled out for offside. This narrow escape seemed to revitalise the hosts and Mann looked to test Mitchell again, but his long range effort bent narrowly wide of the Fairford goal.
As the game wore on, the chances became fewer and farther between, with Dan Reynolds’ effort, which drifted well wide of Evans’ goal, on 89 minutes, the first chance in some time, before Cox forced the Rovers captain into a save, as the game moved into injury time. In the dying moment, Harry Walker produced a neat, flicked header that eluded Aitkinhead’s attempts to clear, but Wright, who had been industrious wide on Rovers’ right, skewed his volley well wide of Mitchell’s goal, as the last effort in the 90 minutes came and went.
The first period of extra-time almost started with an instant goal, only for substitute Will Tunnicliff to be denied by the frame of the Fairford Town goal. Nathan Blackford was then presented with a great opportunity to put his side in front for the first time, but Evans saved well to block his shot from 10 yards. By now, the game had become increasingly tight, with players on both sides looking to avoid making a game-ending error, and chances were limited. Mann, who had been fantastic all night, had one final opportunity, but his shot, from 20 yards, span two yards wide of Mitchell’s goal.
With no goals in the thirty minutes extra-time, the game went to a penalty shoot-out. Rovers, who had missed all their spot-kicks in a County Cup defeat earlier in the season, managed to score their first four efforts, with Fairford Town missing their second, so that Pritchett stepped up knowing that his effort would secure a place in the final, an opportunity he wasn’t go to waste, as he hammered his penalty low into the bottom corner of Mitchell’s goal, to secure his side’s place in this season’s Supplementary Cup Final
Shortwood United Reserves 1 Cheltenham Saracens 0
Shortwood's Reserves ended the season on a high in a close encounter with Cheltenham Saracens.
Shortwood's James Singh almost made it 1-0 with ten minutes gone, but his close range shot was saved by the right foot of Davis. Makeshift Wood goalkeeper Dan Robinson was fortunate to snatch the ball on his goal line after his attempted clearance ricocheted off Martin and almost bounced into the empty net. Robinson denied Martin again four minutes later, when a low cross from Fenner found the striker in the 6 yard box, and he forced a good save with a first time shot.
Wood opened the scoring 62 minutes in; some intricate build up play involving Meredith, Marks and Palmer led to the latter playing it into Portlock on the edge of box, who beat two defenders before curling it into the top corner from a tight angle. With seven minutes of normal time remaining, Robinson cleared for a throw-in from outside the box. Saracens took it quickly and Gittings' shot rolled inches wide of the far post, with the 'keeper in no-man's land. Two minutes into stoppage time, a brilliant save from Robinson denied Martin, who executed a diving header at the near post.
Woodley United 2 Chalfont Wasps 1
United completed their 16/17 season on Wednesday evening with a 3-2 win against Chalfont Wasps. This was their tenth straight win and capped a superb campaign that saw promotion to the Hellenic Premier and winning the Berks & Bucks Intermediate Cup.
Woodley started well, going close in the opening thirty seconds. Josh Drew had a shot from the right saved by Dan Little in the Chalfont goal.
On eight minutes the hosts went ahead when Charlie Oakley latched onto a long ball. Controlling the ball well, he beat Little with a shot into the left corner. More United pressure followed; a short corner was worked to Jake Nicholls who missed to the right from twenty two yards.
Chalfont's best chance so far came courtesy of Alex Cairns who shot into the side netting after a Tom Fifield pass split the Woodley defence.
The sides traded shots mid way through the half when Oakley turned his marker before shooting wide whilst Mikey Benning missed to the left from the right of the box.
The visitors ended the half with their best spell of the match. Benning had an effort parried by Alex Reed in the home goal; with Wasps forwards waiting to pounce, United captain Idris Kamara was alert enough to clear.
Reed then saved a header from a free kick before keeping out a shot from dangerman Benning.
The second half saw a flurry of chances that resulted in three goals in eleven minutes.
Two minutes after the restart, Benning lobbed Reed after collecting a long pass from the back.
Woodley made a change minutes later when Sam Guze replaced Teddy Thomas. This saw Guze play behind Oakley and Drew move out to the wing.
Benning then gave Chalfont the lead with a great goal, volleying into the far corner from the right.
Before kicking off, United made another change. Sukhi Kang made way for debutant Liam Chalmers.
Chalmers was involved in the equaliser on fifty six minutes when he headed a Jake Nicholls free kick back to Liam Wilson who volleyed into the top left corner. What a finish!
The goal revitalised Woodley who went on to dominate the remainder of the match. Danny Horscroft and Wilson had shots blocked as United sought the goal that would draw them level on points with champions Penn & Tylers Green.
Woodley made their final substitution on seventy minutes; Greg Beckett came on for Brad Hoy.
The hosts pressed on. A Liam Wilson cross from the left saw Oakley fire over. With sixteen minutes left United retook the lead. Picking up the ball on the half way line, Josh Drew ran at pace towards goal; his through ball picked out Oakley who found the left corner. The goal meant Oakley has now scored the same amount of league gaols as Headington's Luke Cuff. However due to Oakley playing fewer games, the Woodley man wins the top scorer award.
Oakley came close to a third as the game entered the final ten minutes when a Guze through ball picked him out; timing his run perfectly he just had Little to beat but the Chalfont keeper stood up to Oakley's chip to turn the ball behind for a corner.
Chalfont had two half chances at the death. Brad Holt fired his free kick into the wall whilst Reed saved at the feet of substitute Nick Little.